Goodness, a lot has transpired since Pig’s Birthday! I just got back from my first trip to the dentist in 3.5 years (and likely last for a few more years) so I figured I’d try to catch up on my blog. It’s kind of a given that my posting game-plan isn’t really going to work out, at least not how I intended it to. So, I figured I’d just lump a bunch of stuff together into a “Spring 2017” post. I guess spring doesn’t technically end until June 21st, but I can always come back and change the title of this post to “Spring 2017 Part 1” if the need arises.
Anyways, as a brief overview of what I’ll be covering today: I’m done* with law school (though not yet graduated), it’s spring, our spring has been mostly cold and rainy so far, Easter happened, Meem visited, I finished my exams/project/paper, and am in the first stages of studying for the bar (in fact I should have started on Monday). I won’t really be covering things in that order, that just so happens to be the order I thought of them.
*done in the sense that I am done with everything I know about – RA or journal work could lurk behind any corner.
Anyways, when we last met it was this little fellow’s 2nd birthday!
Since then, a lot has changed. For one, spring has gotten well.. ok nothing has really changed on that front. It’s just about as cold and rainy as it was over a month ago. Yay May. However, that has not stopped the industrious Pigsten from continuously acquiring more rocks for his collection.
This was covered last time, but serves a good reference point (he has gotten another one since).
Plus, in fairness to spring it started ok:
Winter activities which gave way to early spring activities have now yielded to mid-spring croquet (but not roque, thankfully) fields in the Science Center Plaza.
Sure, I was mostly inside double-fisting coffee as deadlines loomed…
…but at least the view of the outside world was nice!
Until it wasn’t:
Yes, it has been a very cold and rainy spring thus far. Heck just a few nights ago (in May) it got down to nearly freezing. That said, the plant buddies have not been too disgruntled about it, Quixote especially has gone a little grow-crazy.
Look closely and you’ll see the ancient form of Thomas III.
I haven’t done quite as well as the plants. Part of the problem stems from the fact that I have this weird issue when it rains. Actually, I have this weird issue when it drizzles. Basically, if a single raindrop falls someone in a 1 mile radius of me, my pant legs get soaked. No, more specifically, ONE of my pant legs gets soaked. Here’s a good reference picture. Yes, I’ve gotten so annoyed by this I took a photo of my jeans.
First of all. It wasn’t really raining, that was from sprinkling. Yes, sprinkling did that to my left pant leg. Second, it’s not rain dripping off my umbrella due to the angle I hold it. I’ve tested this extensively, plus it happens without an umbrella. So, it has something to do with my gait. Changing your gait in the short term isn’t too hard, but trying doing it for a mile+ straight – it’s easy to revert to the natural way you walk, especially when your body gives you no indication that anything is wrong (like pain). I’ve found that if I walk like a morbidly obese clown-pigeon and purposefully swing my legs out like a cowboy trying to mount hippopotamus that I can somewhat avoid it, but holly hell, it’s annoying. Once I had a client meeting and it was actually raining, not sprinkling. my dress pants looked like I’d dipped one of them into the tub before setting out. It was great. It’s added layer of additional frustration to rainy days for me.
But I digress, yet speaking of fancy things like dress pants – I had my “formal” public interest student closing event at Harvard. Each year the Office of Public Interest Advising has a formal event for students going into public interest work, it’s basically the only fancy closed-door dinner that most of such students will get (either for graduation or otherwise). Or, as one guest put it “This is the kind of dinner you’d have each week if you’d gone to a firm.” What made it especially swanky was that it was held at the Harvard Faculty Club, a building that I had passed by many times but never (been allowed to) entered.
The event overlapped a bit with my Thursday evening class, so I had to bop out of that a bit early and head over. The dinner was pretty nice. It started with free booze, then a surprisingly painless group photo (family photos are infinitely worse), followed by a fancy dinner. Our seating was random, or maybe it wasn’t, but it appeared random to us. I ended up sitting right next to HLS’s Dean, Martha Minow, who is stepping down as Dean after this semester (which also happens to be HLS’s 200th anniversary. Harvard itself is 381 years old in case you were wondering, the law school didn’t exist as an independent entity until 1817). I also got to attend her “last lecture” later on. Anyways, dinner was nice and considered of a several course meal. Valentino conveniently showed up right around the time the fish came out.
He stayed for the berry dessert too, of course. In addition to food and booze (though they never brought me coffee, still bitter about that) there were a few “set” speeches, but then they just opened the mic up to public interest students. It was pretty cool – though I still like to limit my social gatherings. 🙂
Another nifty thing that happened is Easter! We normally try to do something for the Boys and this year was no exception. As we don’t have a lot of money to spend on basket things (nor do we think its necessary) we decided to spice things up a little this year by constructing a little trail of chocolate “eggs” to the Easter Basket. It should be no surprise that Pigsten discovered the first “egg.”
From there Pig honed in on something different around the Yoga corner – an area he is very familiar with.
Valentino was next, with an “egg” hidden behind our TV.
Tristen and Pigsten then used their T-Rex senses to tag-team against a “regg” hidden in some papers on the printer.
Pigsten then hopped over to my office chair (the boy can jump) and noticed something:
Pig sealed the deal, finding the “egg” on a bottle of pills [no pills were consumed].
Next Pigsten found one on top of the paper shredder – yea, though it might appear dangerous, that shredder has been broken for quite some time and no one really knows why we still have it.
From there Valentino took us into the hallway.
Tristen, not one to be left behind, spotted the next “regg” near the bedroom door.
Pigsten was quick to jump back on the trail at that point.
Pig joined the final-stretch fray as well.
Soon enough, the Boys were at the last “regg.”
And from there they dived into their basket to find more treats – this after eating all the “reggs” they’d found of course.
Their basket consisted of cookies and coffee, neither of which lasted very long.
While they didn’t arrive on Easter the Boys also got some pressies from Grandma Reem’ in the form of some Alternative U.S. National Park Service stickers! They were very excited.
Unfortunately that was the end of super exciting things, at least for a little while. We then headed into the end of semester craziness which was sorted of foreshadowed in list form here. There were two cool things about the end of classes though. First, SB got to come to my second to last class, Mediation, which she – I – and the professor really enjoyed (given SB’s profession). Second, my last class at Harvard Law took place in the same building – Austin Hall (though sadly not same room, though it was the room right next to it) as my first “class” during orientation (lol at my first mention of orientation being in the middle of a Beer Blurb, quite fitting – though in fairness I also discuss it here). After class some people from my Section had a champagne toast, it was cold and rainy, but that didn’t dampen our spirits, or the actual spirits.
So those things were nifty, especially the SB visit. It had been since 2012 that we had last sat in a classroom together for the purposes of learning.
Of course the end of classes does not mean the end of projects, plus it also only signifies the start of exams. So, what is a not-so-little-ole’ Taco to do? Go get beer, immediately.
Lots of beer, continuous beer.
And then comes studying. Whether or not “studying” means studying the law, or reading out of our Gravity Galls journal is a matter of debate.
Eventually though I had to burn the midnight oil, or rather, midnight candle. Which also meant that I had to watch Pigsten – the boy is oddly obsessed with flinging himself into open flames (maybe he is Zoroastrian?).
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a “crammer” – a style which doesn’t work as well in law school as it does elsewhere. That said, it hasn’t stopped me from finishing things like outlines the night before a closed morning exam, and this was no exception.
The next day, after my first exam (4.5 hours long) I was wondering around the law school and found some signage about all the stress relief stuff going on. You know, I’ve never actually used any of these services (not even the massage, shocking, until you remember how anti-social I am), but it’s nice to know they exist.
The good news was that I only had two exams this semester. One, in-class, closed, 4.5 hour exam – and one take-home, open, 12 hour exam. The in-class exam was for Federal Courts and the Federal System, which was just about as exciting as it sounds (and also quite difficult to boot). The take-home exam was for First Amendment, which is currently being erased by Cheeto Benito, so joke’s on me for taking that one. Anyways, “Fed Courts” was – along with my ever lingering group project – to be the hardest point in my exam period, so it was nice having that over first. Plus, I was even further ahead than I thought I would be because I had experienced a weird super-Taco period of focus the prior weekend and had managed to nearly finish my research paper for another class. Which was awesome, as that brought me down to: Detail work on said research paper, unknown amount of work on a group project (turned out to be a lot), misc. RA & journal work (see top of post), and one 12 hour exam before I was done, and the more I got done sooner, the better!
Why the rush? Well obviously it’s better to be done than not done, but more specifically, Meem was coming to visit! In fact, Meem arrived the night of the same day I took my Fed Courts exam, so I switched into law school “off” mode for a few days in the middle of the exam period, which caused my inbox to inflate to 87 unread messages, but I didn’t care (truth be told a lot of those are now deleted without ever having been read). Meem’s flight got delayed, but we still managed to be in bed by 1am, which is good for us, especially since SB had work the next day.
I also had a morning meeting on campus the next day, so Meem followed me to campus and did a self-tour. After I was out of my meeting I took her to some of the places she hadn’t been able to see before, such as the Ames Courtroom:
As well as the inside of Langdell Hall (law school library). It was technically exam period and you’re not supposed to have guests, so it was mostly us walking in silence to the few places where you can talk, but I think Meem still got some good photos.
We also noticed that the fountain in the Science Center Plaza had finally been activated! After 3.5 years of wondering and waiting, the fountain was on! We had never seen it on before – ever. In fact, “long” ago while searching to see if it even was a fountain, I found out that it has a name – Tanner Fountain – though I couldn’t find any evidence as to why it hadn’t been turned on in at least 3.5 years. Other than the mention of needing “some significant restoration” in a Harvard Gazette article, I could find nothing. So, coupled with recent renovations to the Science Center itself, I’m guessing they finally finished these restorations (though I never visibly saw them working on the fountain). Either way, it’s alive again, and hopefully it lasts through the summer!
Now, as excited as I was about the fountain, the big event of the day was going to see the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees at Fenway Park! SB and I hadn’t done this – and to not do so seems kind of like a failure for someone who lives in the
Boston area America. SB had been to like 45 billion MLB games before, I’d been to one, and Meem to none. The Boys got a private clubhouse courtesy of Clifford, but Pigsten decided to go “slumming” with us common folk down in the Loge Boxes, which turned out to be really good seats – courtesy of Meem!
While the weather hadn’t been great, it was “decent” that day, in that – while cold – it didn’t rain at least. The worst part was when the sun initially went down and the wind kind of picked up, but after awhile (maybe it was those $10 beers?) it wasn’t too bad. At the very least it wasn’t too much for Pigsten, and, like Tristen, he is cold-sensitive.
As mentioned we had pretty good seats, here is a no-zoom panorama of where we were at. Meem got some better photos with her real camera, but you get the basic idea.
As for the game itself, the Red Sox lost, and not only did they lose, they didn’t score once. Plus, the Yankees – who obviously won – didn’t hit a home run. So it wasn’t really the most exciting game of baseball, even by baseball standards – which are like, in the same realm as “paint drying” 90% of the time. HOWEVER, it wasn’t really about the game, as much as the experience of going to Fenway (oldest MLB ballpark) to see the Red Sox against the Yankees. Or, as I put it, “When the Sox and the Yankees play the winner is always… America.”
So, all that considered, it was a great time with mah peeps. I think we all enjoyed it. I don’t know if Pigsten even knows what baseball is, but he liked the popcorn AND because we were Fenway newblets we all got little “Fan Packs” which included Fenway Dirt – yes, though they were technically for SB and I, the bags are now Pigsten’s.
So that was our cool sports experience. SB and I probably would have done it even if Meem hadn’t been able to come out. But we definitely wouldn’t have had as good of seats, nor would Meem have been there, so it was a lot better this way.
Speaking of other cool sports experiences, HLS has its own box at TD Garden and they were offering Celtics playoff tickets for said box…
…but I didn’t take them (I can hear the distant anal clenches from Daryl 2), because 1 – I’d already seen the Celtics, and 2 – the tickets were still $65 a piece. Definitely not bad for box tickets to an NBA playoff game, but still more than the $10 per ticket I paid Harvard for the pleb tickets the first time around.
But back on the Meem visit front, in addition to going out and about we also had a few nights in where we made things such as a salmon dinner (much to Valentino’s great pleasure) as well as chocolate avocado cake (don’t knock it until you try it). We also broke out some cards and board game. Now, this isn’t just any ole’ board game – this is a board which spent a good deal of its existence banned from production.
Yes, Ghettopoly, a game which involves “buying stolen properties, pimpin’ hoes, building crack houses and projects, paying protection fees and getting car jacked are some of the elements of the game. Not dope enough?…If you don’t have the money that you owe to the loan shark you might just land yourself in da’ Emergency Room.” Truth be told, I’ve had this game (courtesy of Meem) for years. In fact I don’t know how long I’ve had it, but Wikipedia says it came out in 2003, so based on subsequent lawsuits my guess is that it wasn’t long after that. That said, I’ve never actually played it. For one, “Ghettopoly” isn’t really the kind of Monopoly you bust out with new friends, or most people for that matter. So it’s kind of a niche version of a definitely-not-niche game. However, Tristen had been begging to play it for years, so it seemed fitting to bust it out when Grandma Meem was out. It was fun, though arguably more difficult than standard Monopoly due to increased penalties (the cost of the “Emergency Room,” for instance, is 250% higher than “Jail.”). It was a heated Ghettopoly bout, with SB taking an early lead, but I pompified and ended up winning in the end (the Boys were on my side and Pigsten probably ate some money in the process, I mean literally ate it).
The next day we all went out for a walking tour of parts of Cambridge. Meem wanted to see Tory Row, so we took off in that direction to start. However, on the way we took a peak inside Memorial Hall since Meem had never been in, and while Sanders Theatre and Anneberg Hall were closed off to visitors (as usual) we did get to see the main chamber with zero people in it – not a common occurrence given Harvard’s status as a tourist attraction.
After Meem took a peek into Anneberg Hall (it was lunch time for the babies) we headed down into Loker Commons (basement) and then on to Tory Row. While I’ve been up Tory Row at least three times before, one thing I had not done was explore Longfellow House – the longtime home of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and before that the headquarters for General George Washington from 1775-76.
The interior wasn’t open for the season yet, but the front gate to the grounds were open, so we meandered around a bit. Meem saw a sign for the gardens and headed straight for it, turns out Longfellow House is “hiding” a very nice little garden area behind it next to the Carriage House. It wasn’t the nicest of days, but a lot of the flowers were in bloom in spite of the lackluster spring weather, so it was still pretty.
From there we continued along Tory Row, before cutting back down towards the Charles River, and then walked that for awhile before crossing the Anderson Memorial Bridge (finally out of construction – and coincidentally the bridge SB and I drove Lillian over a lifetime or so ago) towards the Harvard’s Business School and Soldier’s Field Athletic Area.
Despite having some classes with business school students, doing HBX CORe, and just generally not living that far away from it – I’d never been to the business school (though I’d spent many nights standing at their edge of their campus waiting for a bus after football or hockey games). So this was a first for all of us.
They have quite a nice campus, and some of the trees were bloom which made it even nicer.
The inside of Spangler Center and Bloomberg Center (yep those Bloombergs) was really nice, and had some similar design features to the law school’s Wasserstein Hall, which I guess isn’t totally surprising.
After we were done being B-school tourists (so I’ve now seen the medical school and business school – maybe I’ll see the law school someday) we moseyed over to the Harvard Stadium – which, not only were the grounds unlocked, the stadium itself was open, which was a nice surprise. Naturally I did what any normal person would do and immediately tried to figure out how to get the normally-sealed-off roof of the
coliseum stadium. Unfortunately someone had predicted my endeavor and shut me down by chaining and padlocking the only way to the roof (absent flight or Spider-Man abilities).
The next logical step was to go play on the field, duh. So we did.
We even got some photos of me, me+SB, and me+Meem, right on the 50 yard line, they will come in handy should I ever need to lie about being an Ivy League Football Player.
After that we proceeded back over into Cambridge where we engaged what has quickly become a visiting family tradition: Legal Sea Foods.
Ever since SB, Meem, and I ate here back in the before times, we’ve ate here with nearly every round of family that has visited – though oddly enough never on our own (we stick to things like poor people fish in cardboard boxes). It’s really yummy – obviously – or we wouldn’t keep going back. This time around I mixed things up a bit by getting the lobster bisque rather than the clam chowder.
Of course that is just a way of saying that I also got clam chowder by eating some of SB’s. Both were delicious. For the main course I had (more) beer + scallops. I love scallops, though rarely get them due to cost. Paired with my scallops were mushrooms with rivaled Little Zagreb’s as well as a crispy risotto cake, which was as good as it sounds.
After our delicious late lunch, we headed up into the northern part of Harvard Yard to show Meem the place where
half the world’s wealth will descend the first part of my graduation will take place (as of this getting posted – in just 13 days!). Meem took lots of photos of the buildings she hadn’t seen, I took a photo of a squirrel.
All was well in the world.
Sadly, all good things must end, and the next morning Meem had to fly back home, SB had to go to work, and I had to return to school. The Boys were upset Grandma Reem’ had to leave, though they were all happy with their pressies from her:
Tristen obtained a Harvard Law gavel, and immediately proceeded to beat the piss out of everyone with it until Grandma Reem’ intervened – he’s been good since (though Valentino took up the whacking work for awhile [don’t ask about his wrist slapper, JFC] – Grandma Reem’ shut that down as well). Pig obtained a wood carving of Ganesha that he now meditates and does yoga with. Valentino got a Harvard Law School snowflake ornament. Between the two of us, I don’t think he cares about the HLS part, he just loves ornaments and snowflakes. And, not to be forgotten, Pigsten got his aforementioned Fenway Dirt (two bags, no less). Good grandma Reem’ pressies all around.
Once Meem was on her way and SB at work, I set about the bloody business of the day, which happened to involve wrapping up my research paper for good, trying to wrap up my group project (silly me), and studying for the 12 hour exam I had the following day. I accomplished two of those three things, if you guessed the group project was not one of them, then you are someone who is familiar with collegiate group projects – as well as right. Nah, that group project would extend would extend itself to the literal final hours of the formal semester for 3Ls. As reference, per our team agreement it was supposed to have been done over two weeks prior – but, well, again group projects, if you understand, you understand. The good news is that a few of us managed to pull it all together, while simultaneously throwing the other team members under the bus (as they deserved, long story, just trust me) so it was still in on time. So it was productive last week.
Though oddly, my end* to law school (see italic note at the top of the post) was not the BANG I expected. But rather, law school sort of went out as silently as any huge life milestone conceivably might. But that is for a future post wherein I will discuss being done with Harvard Law School – this post is more about the lead-up. Plus, to make things even more anti-climatic, I went from submitting my last assignment, straight into an optometrist appointment where I was told they’d need to dilate my eyes (they did not tell me about this beforehand) in order to check up on a potential optic-nerve condition I am at risk for developing (I’m still a-ok, for reference!). So, not knowing this was coming, I had no sunglasses, so I got to rock those shitty roll up sunglasses they give you through CVS, Harvard Square, and Harvard Yard. Actually I couldn’t care less about the appearance, it just sucked being unable to read or use my computer for like 5 hours after being done with law school. It was also pouring rain, like pouring, so SB just brought food home rather than us going out. WOO Taco knows how to celebrate em.’
So, as has become a sort of Dinosaur Bear tradition (see 1L & 2L) here is picture of one of the Boys next to my stack of materials for the semester – which, as usual, does not include casebooks or the 80 F*CKING MILLION PAGES from my group project class. 🙂
Pigsten still rocks his OG’ Grandma Reem’ bulldozer pressie from our New England Adventure.
Yes that little itty-bitty booklet thing on top is the United States Constitution, yep, that thing you like you pretend you’ve read (or maybe that was just me). Look how teeny it is, seriously go read it.
So, that brings us up to the present! If you were wondering about my first dentist appointment in 3.5 years, no – it had nothing to do with the fact that last time I was in an office it involved having my wisdom teeth removed and anesthetics not working and having one tooth drilled out without pain medicine (I recommend it, loads of fun). To be fair, that was technically the second to last time, as the last time was a follow up. Anyways, no, I’m not scared of dentists, I just don’t really think I need to go to them as frequently as they say I do. Sure 3.5 years is a stretch, but I have no dental insurance. Rather, the dentist was rather just a “catch up” I’ve been doing post law school exams. I also went to (as mentioned) the optometrist for a checkup (my eyes didn’t get worse during law school!) and my general practitioner for a checkup. You know, the whole “not dying” sort of stuff that you don’t do during law school.
Outside from that I’ve also being working quite extensively on what comes next, as well as starting (e.g. being really behind on) to study for the bar, but those are topics for another post, which will come at some point after I close out law school, be it via one combined Graduation + “Muh Feels” post, or two independent posts. We’ll see how I feel, though it will probably be two posts because, I’m also taking a quick trip to New Orleans after graduation as my version of a super-mini (drastically preemptive) bar trip (as comparison SB got to all the way to the frickin’ arctic circle when she graduated – and she doesn’t have to deal with the bar 😛 ).
Aight’ – I think that’s all I have for now. See you on the flip side o’ graduation. Also Dinosaur Bear is almost 5 years old – and it’s almost my birthday as well. Dat’s crazy.
Until next time,